November 2006

In honor of the best thread ever, I give you this:

Do a Google Image Search for 'andre the giant' if you don't get it.  Jeez.

UPDATE:  Now that I’m on my desktop and have better tools, I’d probably go with the one below; Gaijin Biker is right in that it needed to be more contrasty.  Well, in truth, I’d probably make one image out of both of them to preserve the lettering from the first draft but use the more stencil-looking portrait of the second:

And, having seen Gorbachev mentioned in the thread linked above, I did this one while I was at it:

Honestly, this takes like five minutes.

1998 rang and they’d like their Internet meme back, so I guess I’d better stop using it now.

I just watched the UCLA tasering video in its entirety so that I could reply to a friend’s email with my thoughts on it.

This would be less than an hour after I’ve finished watching The Weather Underground.

Now I want to light something on fire just to watch it burn.  Instead, I’m going to go to bed so I can drive to Asheville for the big family Thanksgiving dinner.  These could not possibly be more opposite one another, as actions go.

47,800+ words, still writing, knee-deep in what may turn out to be the big climax. I will finish this before I sleep tonight. Damn it. I will. Even though, for the fourth year in a row, I’m looking at what I’m writing and thinking, Gods damn it all, will these people shut up? Talk talk talk! Shoot somebody for crying outloud!

Update:  OpenOffice says it‘s 51,429. says it’s 51,355.  Either way, I’m done.  So what if the denouement is like a page and a half?  Fuck the denouement.  Fuck it right in its pompous ear.

Who knew I’d ever be asking for Neal Stephenson’s sloppy seconds?

Just an FYI – I crossed the 40,000 word mark Monday evening.  I plan to finish tomorrow while sitting around the house.  Even if that fails, I’ll finish Friday.

Because my boyfriend is the best boyfriend on the planet, he even helped me hash out all the background storyline for why some of the stuff I wrote on Monday works for the story.  So, bonus!  I’m not only done, I know why everything that’s happened so far has happened!  Ain’t NaNo grand?

I almost never discuss my work on this site for any number of reasons. However, this tidbit is too strange not to pass on and will, I hope, fail utterly to identify anyone involved.

One of the services my employers offer is URL filtering. Clients can be set up so that they can’t view websites that fall into certain pre-defined categories (adult, guns, politics, whatever) but there is also an overriding “allow” list and “deny” list, free-form lists where we can add a given URL to grant or block access to a given site regardless of whether or how it’s classified in the third-party database of URLs we use for category filters. This is all pretty standard, yes, I’m just trying to explain it for people who may not be familiar with the “Net Nanny” approach to web monitoring.

Most clients add big, obvious sites to their universal “deny” lists: myspace, Ebay, that kind of thing. Occasionally I get one that makes me die a little on the inside, like the time I was interrupted from reading the World of Warcraft user forums in order to block said forums for a client, a moment of terrible irony and a faint aftertaste of guilt. In one very amusing instance, I got a request around 3pm on a Friday afternoon from a client who wanted to unblock the Adult, Alcohol and Firearms categories and then have them re-enabled at the end of the day. Someone was, I could only conclude, getting ready for one heck of a weekend.

On even more rare occasions, however, we get a real glimpse into the inner workings of our clients’ offices and the personal obsessions that plague them. One had a string of radio station websites they wanted blocked; they had a colleague who was an incorrigible user of streaming broadcasts, the devil’s own bandwidth vacuum. Once we had a client who had to block, individually, a specific list of professional sports teams’ and, the next day, a collection of specific sports gambling sites. One had a pretty seriously MMO-addicted user and we had to block the domain for about half a dozen massively multiplayer games. Very rarely, a client will actually explain the situation to us, conversationally sharing private personnel matters in a way that makes us deeply uncomfortable; more often, we are left to invent our own explanatory scenarios.

Today, though? Today takes the cake. I just got asked by a client to block a specific list – half a dozen or more entries in length – of websites devoted to the personal and professional lives of the Olsen twins.

Some people don’t just need a hobby, they need a different hobby.

The day before election day was extremely sunny and warm and a bird was hanging out around my office window. The cats, who had been napping, were quick to get interested. Therefore, behold: a feast of kitten cuteness.

You can buy tickets at  You know you want to go.  You know you do. 

Get tickets right now, while you’re thinking about it.  At the September bout, print-at-home tickets had zero line; the line for those of us who bought our tickets at the door wrapped halfway around Dorton Arena.

So, after six years working for a certain company, today I gave my notice.  In December, I will take a position with a much smaller company doing what I do now but in a more controlled and standardized environment, working for a company that doesn’t try to actively screw me on my benefits and such.  I’m excited about the new stuff I’ll get to work with and the people I’ll be working with.

However, I am terrified of change.


Just a brief aside to whoever keeps ending up here by Googling to try to find out where LBRS (Lower Blackrock Spire) is in WoW.

First, here’s a map. The entrance to Blackrock Mountain is that little gate icon thingy in the lower-left corner.

Second, LBRS on WoWWiki.

Speaker Pelosi.  Webb with a lead in VA.  Rumsfeld gone.  Charles Taylor ousted in the district where I grew up.  Coat tails effects in the Taylor/Shuler race handed a couple of completely unexpected, barely contested state legislature seats to the state Democratic caucus.  Widened margins of control in both houses of the General Assembly.

I went home at 11pm last night after a long night at work and proceeded to drink like I rarely drink anymore.  Southern Comfort and “Jazz” Diet Pepsi.  I’m not kidding.  I’d be a wreck today except that my boyfriend is a god and made me drink a lot of water last night.

I was going to be pleasantly surprised by picking up a few seats in the House.  I honestly did not think it was going to go down like this.

The next Speaker is a leftist grandmother from San Francisco.  I can’t describe the warm glow that puts in my heart.

Having gotten up early to make sure I could vote before work*, I would now very much like to take a nap and wake up when it’s all over.  Damn this work!

* – “Early” by my work schedule means before 10am.  Just an FYI.

Well, I’ve officially crossed the 10,000 word mark, as of this evening. The Palanquin Cat, so far as it’s gotten. True to form, and as I told The Boyf would happen, I have started with the fear I wouldn’t manage to fill 50,000 words and then crossed the 10,000 mark with the stark realization that I have, in fact, barely started. It is like this every year.

Every. Year.

Also, if you’re in the Triangle you simply must – must – try Pao Lim in Durham. Pants Wilder, Mr. Pink Eyes, A-Diggity and I went there for dinner last night on a Boys’ Night Out. Mr. Saturday joined us for the dessert round. I had perfect steamed veggie dumplings, a delicious Cotes-du-Rhone, marvelous Manchurian Chicken (three words: garlic-cilantro sauce), fried cheesecake to make you cream your pants and a cup of coffee. I thought I was going to explode, after, but it was so worth it. We all sat there all night exclaiming over how good it was. It was so good, in fact, that A-Diggity took his girlfriend there tonight and I took The Boyf. The host was a little surprised to see me back for the 2nd night in a row, but it was just that good. Chili Tofu, smoky and crispy outside, soft inside, with a nice heat you’re not used to finding in restaurant food no matter how red they make the word “spicy” on the menu. Gods yes.

I struggled through lunch to think of where to start this year’s novel – what scene, in specific, would set the mood and let me establish Hank, my main character, right off the bat? Eventually I settled in at Cup a Joe on Hillsbrough St., where I am even now, and started up the soundtrack to Good Night and Good Luck, and all of a sudden I had my scene.

I love NaNo. 1523 words and counting…

(Later:  Make that 5,164 words.  This is a record start for me.  Woohoo!)